Paul’s Blog February 2012
‘Not Quite the End Yet’
It was all going so well; I had travelled to London by car, something I rarely do to meet Jacques
and Rob from the ITEC Group. I had been looking forward to meeting Jacques for some time
and our meeting went extremely well.
ITEC are South African based having set up a photocopier/printing empire over there. A few
years ago they set up a UK operation and invested in a company called Portrayal. In 2009 we had
a client called Peninsula Business Systems (PBS) that was the leading independent print
solutions business in the South West. In January 2010 PBS was taken over by Portrayal. We
survived the takeover mainly due to some excellent work in concluding a tax enquiry at PBS.
Recently ITEC has increased its equity stake in Portrayal so it is extremely gratifying that we are
now acting for ITEC.
Earlier in the day I had visited my good friends at Mobility Seating in order to advance an R&D
tax credit claim for a range of new medical chairs. We are starting to do a lot of R&D tax claims
so if you are visiting our website as a new client you know where to come.
On the way out of London I foolishly opted to go home down the M4. After a few miles of stop
and start traffic I was in the fast lane when I saw the cars in front of me piling into each other.
Fortunately, I carried out a successful emergency stop only for the vehicle behind me to slam
into me at over 70mph. The Jaguar XF is a great car and saved me although I am still suffering
from the after effects.
Socially, the previous week had been very enjoyable although bad for the waistline. Highlights
were a hilarious evening at Le Vela in Burnham with the senior management team of Aspen
Waite as well as Abdul and Kevin and the AWBG race day at Taunton. The group is coming on
extremely well – one of my better ideas!
On the 5th we watched Bath play at Exeter in the LV Cup. Exeter fielded their 2nd team so the
result was never really in doubt. Exeter have never beaten Bath but on the 12th we travelled to
Sandy Park expecting the worst in the Aviva premiership match. My mood was not helped by the
distinctly unfortunate end to the England vs. Wales match and having to stand with a dodgy right
knee in the stand. Although the score (12-9) indicates a close match Bath were by far the better
Back at the ranch Kevin continues to weave his magic and the range of extremely exciting things
we are involved in continues to develop. I am particularly pleased at the prospect of working
very closely in London with Fred Davey of The Bion Group. Kevin is currently in Ecuador with
Andy Kimitri of FHOSS and we look forward to developing close ties with South American
We recently welcomed a new trainee Jake Filer into the Bridgwater fold. Jake lives in Bristol and
has a strong marketing background so offers something a bit different.
Nationally, there is some room for hope although I am starting to see businesses failing on a
regular basis and worryingly the ripple effect of this through bad debts is starting to affect a lot
of our clients, particularly in the construction industry. Good credit control is the key here and
keeping in contact with others in similar trades.
Inflation is falling and January saw a £7.8 billion surplus. The USA is motoring ahead and the
EU limps on. The manufacturing output figures are also pleasing so I think 2012 could be a bit
better than most think.